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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 1:10 AM
PragmaticIdealist PragmaticIdealist is offline
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SAN BERNARDINO l Re-establishment as One of Southern California's Three Urban Cores

Before the advent of the freeways, the 199-year-old San Bernardino functioned as an urban core and the nexus of an extensive transportation system approximately 60 miles East of the center of Los Angeles and 90 miles North of San Diego's.

Today, the 65-square-mile San Bernardino is the 100th most populous city in the United States. And, the San Bernardino Valley is expected over the next ten years to add another million residents to the four million already living in the Inland Empire. So, the city, and its neighboring municipalities, have embarked on an ambitious and impressive strategy to re-establish the urban core and to dramatically reposition San Bernardino to compete in the category of: Los Angeles; San Diego; San Francisco; San Jose; and, other first-tier cities around the country and around the world.









The plan is specifically intended to avoid competing with Riverside, Ontario, and similar nearby cities that lack the powerful combination of an authentic urban environment and large tracts of developable land.

You can see more views of the project, along with a fairly extensive catalog of the existing visual and cultural resources of the city in this Flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/sanbernardino

You may also be interested in this group related to the whole of the Inland Empire: http://www.flickr.com/groups/inlandempire

The current business activity in San Bernardino is concentrated in the Riverfront District between the 10 freeway and the Santa Ana River. At the far North end of the city is San Bernardino State University while Loma Linda University occupies the southern part of the valley.



In 2011, both institutions will be connected to the city center, and to the new "superuniversity" campus surrounding the existing American Sports University, by sbX, a B.R.T. tramway traveling along E Street and Hospitality Lane.



The sbX corridor is being developed as a series of self-contained urban villages. Beyond the city center described in the Vision & Action Plan are new mixed-use districts and neighborhoods that are expansions and redevelopments of existing activity centers and traditional neighborhoods. For example, the sbX station at North Mall Way will include new open-air and pedestrian-oriented development Macerich is adding to the Inland Center on the West, as well as new construction by Lewis Development Group surrounding the historic structures of the National Orange Show site to the East. That project is scheduled for completion in 2014.



Other stations have similar potential, and four will feature park-&-ride lots and structures offering shared parking available for even more development.



The North-South sbX service will provide two station-stops in the city center. The more southerly station is a multimodal facility that will connect sbX with the Metrolink extension from the nearby 1918 depot, which, itself, has already undergone extensive restoration and expansion with some interesting T.O.D.



Utilizing the same Pacific Electric Redlands Subdivision right-of-way of the Metrolink extension, San Bernardino Associated Governments will connect, by light-rail or Diesel-electric multiple units, the depot and the multimodal transit station to: the Lewis project at the National Orange Show; the Riverfront District (Tippecanoe Ave. & Hospitality Lane); the San Bernardino County Museum at California Street; Citrus Plaza and Tri-City Shopping Center at Alabama Avenue; the E.S.R.I. campus and Jennie Davis Park at New York Street; Downtown Redlands at its historic Santa Fe Depot; and, the University of Redlands.



My pictures documenting the existing resources and assets in many of these areas are available here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pragmat...t/sets/217620/

Additionally, with the 2007 completion of the last leg of the 210 freeway, the 215 freeway is currently in the process of being expanded and modernized in order to facilitate North-South movement to and from the city center.

The San Bernardino Economic Development Agency is sitting on a proverbial gold mine to the South of the Vision & Action Plan boundaries since the agency owns a huge tract of "greenfield" land there that is intended to serve as a corridor of corporate headquarters, regional offices, and creative-technical campuses organized around one of two lake systems integrated into and immediately adjacent to the existing city center. San Bernardino is sitting on an underground aquifer that is estimated to be the size of Lake Tahoe, and the city has been draining the water, at great expense, to reduce the dangers of liquefaction during an earthquake. But, to sell more of the water to the rest of southern California and to avoid wasting said water, the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District needs to construct control reservoirs. The 215 widening is helping excavate land for the artificial wetlands in the South while more than two-thirds of the property for the North lake has already been purchased.

Beyond the Riverfront District, which currently serves as the new downtown for all intents and purposes, and the revitalized city center, which has been the historic urban core of the entire region since 1810, the uptown area is being remade as the Arrowhead Springs Resort District consolidating and enhancing the broad array of existing tourism assets in the area and expanding upon the 2,000 acres of the historic Arrowhead Springs Hotel, Spa, & Bungalows property from the foothills to the valley floor by developing extensive city-owned lands at Wildwood Park and by better utilizing the flood-control basins in the area and the usually dry East Twin Creek, which, together, create an immense piece of contiguous and developable land that has already been master-planned with a well-honed, fine-grained mix of uses, including a garden-style day spa with a business model similar to that of Glen Ivy Hot Springs in Corona.



















All of these efforts to enhance quality of life and to attract a world-class labor force will work to expedite development of San Bernardino International Airport, which, in addition to other regional transportation hubs, will provide the number of non-stop flights necessary to attract even more interest from major businesses. And, incidentally, San Bernardino International is only a couple of miles away from the proposed route for California High-Speed Rail, so, while the C.H.S.R. Authority rejected years ago a proposal to extend the line to the city center of San Bernardino, a short spur along the Santa Ana River and to and from a functioning SBD airport is entirely conceivable.


Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; Sep 22, 2009 at 11:16 AM.
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 1:20 AM
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Incidentally, 2010 is officially the kick-off of the transitional re-branding effort, which will use the yearlong bicentennial celebration, centered at the proposed Celebration Square, to present San Bernardino as: "Centuries-old and younger than ever." The image the city intends to cultivate is one that is advanced, youthful, and state-of-the-art, supporting both biological health and ecological sustainability. The dominant new artistic and architectural style for the city will be one that carefully and deliberately juxtaposes the old with the new in order to fashion an authentic and cohesive urban fabric that is the collective heritage of the city's history.







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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 1:28 AM
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 3:48 AM
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I live about 25 miles west of San Bernardino in Upland. It's always amazed me that the county seat was so lackluster and seemingly underdeveloped, so if they can really pull this off and see substantial success in the next several decades, it'd be really great for the city itself and the entire county. Thanks for sharing!
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 8:36 PM
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This repositioning strategy functions as a regional plan since it seeks to improve the fortunes of the Inland Empire as a region and to reverse the unsustainable development patterns that are destroying all of California, which, in turn, is, as the fifth largest economy on the planet, vital to the success of the United States of America. Leaders at all levels of government, and many in the private sector, see the need for this kind of massive change to: preserve open space and the culture and character of individual communities; reduce dependence on oil and automobiles; and, revitalize historic urban cores and surrounding urban centers that should function as the basis for long-term economic sustainability and vitality.

To manage the expected population growth, the Inland Empire needs to develop an inventory of superior, desirable, and highly-differentiated places that can attract the most talented people in the world.

While San Bernardino's mayor, Patrick Morris, is a well-known student of New Urbanism, the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency, under the leadership of Emil Marzullo, is responsible for the overall effort, since strategic planning, economics, and marketing provide the framework for the urban planning. The Vision & Action Plan (http://www.sbrda.org/corevision.htm) is based on recommendations from the Urban Land Institute and a whole series of many of the world's best consultants. But, this final product, itself, was developed by Vaughan Davies and a team from EDAW, in coordination with San Bernardino's own planners, led by Jeffrey Smith. EDAW (AECOM) has also been charged with implementing the strategy and organizing development, while John Fransen, who was responsible for crafting Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade, has been retained to lead the retail-leasing effort. At great expense, the city has also recently lured from Reno, new City Manager Charles McNeely, who was credited with performing near-miracles there, to guide the administration of the city during this transition period.

Amazingly, the Vision & Action Plan hardly touches the General Plan, which has already been designed to support this kind of development. Some minor codes are going to have to be modified in certain areas, but, really, everything is already in place and developer interest in the individual pieces is strong. In fact, part of the genius of the Vision & Action Plan is that it seeks a range of developers who specialize in different kinds of projects like adaptive reuse, T.O.D., and student housing. There is no single project on which the whole of the Plan depends; the ingenious mix is the key to managing risk for the city and for developers, themselves. As for other plan documents, they are scattered among the various agencies responsible for the individual pieces.

Omnitrans is the lead agency for sbX, which is, in turn, based on plans by the growing Loma Linda University and the growing San Bernardino State University (parking, traffic management, student housing, etc.). The San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District is the lead agency for the Working Water System. The modernization and expansion of the 215 freeway is the work of SanBAG and CalTrans. The bicentennial celebration is being led by the E.D.A. and the San Bernardino Pioneer & Historical Society. SanBAG is responsible for the multimodal transit station, the Metrolink extension, and the L.R.T./D.E.M.U., as well as the transit village there and the T.O.D. at the original 1918 depot. Theatre Square is mainly a joint venture between the E.D.A., which owns the California Theatre, and Maya Cinemas, which is responsible for the movie screens and some of the retail. The other retail, student housing, theatre-view lofts, etc. are being handled by specialists in their respective fields. San Bernardino County is responsible for the expanded government center, which is partly funded ($60 million) but which will require the sale of Arrowhead Plaza. San Bernardino City is responsible for the rest of the Civic Square, which requires the sale of the existing César Pelli-designed City Hall, which is, itself, intended to be combined with the adjacent hotel to become a new garden resort with a shared pool deck and outdoor nightclubs and poolside restaurants on top of the existing parking structure. It's a very complex undertaking comprised of a series of individual projects that are ultimately being phased and coordinated by the Vision & Action Plan, which is, first and foremost, a repositioning strategy. The initial phasing, incidentally, has the new Maya Cinemas opening for the 2009 holiday season with mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented activity moving outward from this nightlife area, which is designed to be active 24 hours a day. This first major project is intended to set the standard for all future development in the City of San Bernardino.


Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; Sep 12, 2009 at 11:18 AM.
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 8:37 PM
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 8:38 PM
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 8:40 PM
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 8:40 PM
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 8:41 PM
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 8:46 PM
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In many ways, San Bernardino, and the San Bernardino metroplex, including Redlands and Loma Linda, are attempting to, in a massive way, replicate E.S.R.I., which located its headquarters in the valley because of the quality of life the area offers and which touts that livability to the high-value employees the company recruits.

I have a friend, myself, who was being courted by E.S.R.I. to leave his country of origin and move to Redlands, which he, personally, loves. But, all his other friends who live mostly in Los Angeles have dismissed the city and the rest of the Inland Empire as undesirable in an attempt to persuade him to move closer to the coastal metropolis.

My friend is precisely the guy that San Bernardino needs to live in the heart of a resort-style inland metropolis and to commute the 5 miles to the E.S.R.I. campus by way of the light rail. It's just a matter of fixing the simple problems in the built environment (like the huge blocks, the wide streets, and the ridiculous amount of surface parking) while changing the city's image and making more improvements to the public realm. San Bernardino is really the only city that can do so, and it actually has a pretty amazing array of inherent assets. Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga will probably develop in an Orange County way with nice and sterile projects that are pleasant but that lack authenticity, and Riverside will mature into a Pasadena that is cultured and genteel, but not as big as Los Angeles and San Francisco. San Bernardino, though, has the space and the existing urban environment to provide that necessary sense of maturity while ensuring build-out takes decades to achieve.
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 8:51 PM
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Here's a larger view of the site plan for the very middle of the Theatre Square project, which is being undertaken by Maya in coordination with the existing property owners in the area who are leasing their various spaces for complementary adjacent uses.



The city's main responsibility in this endeavor is to enhance Fourth Street and to operate a new parking district, including cleaning, maintenance, and security for the public realm, as well as management of all existing structured parking, new metered on-street parking, and new parking valets.

The annotations on this Flickr image will give you a better idea of the intricacies of Theatre Square: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pragmat...7606105868674/

Incidentally, Maya owns the exclusive rights to the IMAX format in the trading area between Ontario and Palm Desert.
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 8:53 PM
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Riverside better do something.
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 9:01 PM
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Riverside is making progress. The Inland Empire over the next decade is going to look very different, and everyone seems to realize that the population growth here needs to be managed in a much more sophisticated way than it has been in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange Counties
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2009, 9:08 PM
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This is true. As Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ontario, which are regarded as the IE's core cities continue to develop upwards, it'll be interesting to see what the other cities (Moreno Valley, Rancho Cucuamunga, Redlands, Corona) and others will do. Again, the IE needs to start building UP not OUT!
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Old Posted Sep 10, 2009, 2:11 AM
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The following images describe the Seccombe Lake mixed-use village and the new linear park with watercourses, bioswales, and an urban trail system that leads to the baseball stadium by way of Democracy Park, a new concept for the existing Meadowbrook Park that will feature day-lighted streams, the new state and county courts complex, and the surrounding traditional neighborhood, including work-live units, rowhouses, and single-family detached houses among a series of other fine-grained typologies.






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Old Posted Sep 10, 2009, 2:13 AM
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This is the lobby of the existing hotel, which is to be combined with the César Pelli-designed building in order to create a garden resort with an extensive outdoor pool area on top of the existing parking structure:









This is the recently-adopted specific plan for an sbX-oriented hillside community with executive estates and multi-family residences to be added to the existing schools, university, parks, and commercial area:



A fully-funded astronomical observatory will also join the existing Coussoulis Arena North of the above plan in order to help establish a mountainside "park-within-a-university" that is intended as a combination of Elysian Park, Griffith Park, and Exposition Park while new freeway on- and off-ramps are added to the area South.







Additionally, the specific plan calls for placing much of the rest of Shandin Hills into permanent conservancy as a nature preserve.






















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Old Posted Sep 10, 2009, 2:19 AM
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While Shandin Hills and Little Mountain, pictured in the previous entry, are located in the City of San Bernardino, the City of Loma Linda, whose residents, incidentally, have the highest rates of longevity in the United States, recently purchased more than 1700 acres of Scott Canyon, which has become South Hills Preserve. And, it, too, is located a few blocks from an sbX station.











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Old Posted Sep 10, 2009, 2:22 AM
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Also located at this station are the grounds of the Pettis Hospital.











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Old Posted Sep 10, 2009, 2:24 AM
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And, surrounding the station are orange groves and an acequia.





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